Meatless Monday – Do Vegetarians Tailgate?

The question is should they want to? Tailgating is a term for a party held out of the back of a vehicle (hence tailgate). It’s usually done before major sporting events and often features grilled meat and alcohol.

As I walked through the street party for the Grey Cup football game I saw many stands offering food in the spirit of tailgating. Apart from baked beans (which probably had some pork product in it anyways), all of the food was meat-centric e.g. beef, ribs and the ubiquitous pulled pork. It got me wondering…do vegetarians tailgate?

I google-searched my question to see what I would come up with. There were 2 approaches to vegetarian tailgating: one was to mimic the exact food in vegetarian form that carnivores eat (pulled seitan I guess?) and the other was to simply use vegetarian fare and grill it. One of the online responses to recipes for tailgate tofu kebabs and soup was “where’s the meat?”

Well it’s Meatless Monday, I’m a vegetarian and the closest I’ll get to tailgating is making a veggie patty. Behold my recipe for Amazing Lentil Patties:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried lentils (and enough water to cover them in a pot-approximately 2 cups)
  • 1-2 TBSP. cooking oil (grapeseed, coconut or butter are good options)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced (yellow, orange, purple-take your pick)
  • 1/2 tsp. marmite
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/8 cup dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 TBSP. nutritional yeast
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you like it hot)
  • 1 TBSP. tomato paste OR organic tomato ketchup will do nicely too
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (get creative here: gluten-free, gluten-full but try to keep it whole grain)
  • 1 TBSP. sweet potato flour (this stuff is potent but oh so good for you. Mmm beta carotene!)
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 egg (for vegan version substitute 1 TBSP. flax meal)
  • pepper, freshly ground
  • optional: asafoetida/hing. This Indian spice is said to reduce gassy effect that lentils are known for. Add a pinch to lentils after they’ve been cooked.

Method:

  1. In pot, cover lentils with water. Bring to a boil then turn heat down to a simmer and cook lentils for 10-15 minutes. Once most of the water has been absorbed and lentils have turned soft and mushy they are done. If you see foam forming during cooking skim it off and discard to help reduce gassy effect.
  2. Heat oil in pan; add onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add carrot and cook about 5 minutes – for efficiency use this time to measure your marmite, salt, thyme, parsley, mustard powder, nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper. Add these seasonings and then mix until combined.
  3. Add tomato paste and vinegar in one fell swoop. Mix until combined. Turn off heat.
  4. Add sweet potato flour, freshly ground pepper and bread crumbs. Mix until combined.
  5. Add egg/flax meal and mix once more until combined. (Lots of combining going on in this recipe-makes it seem like a farm operation.)
  6. To cook either bake in oven at 350Farenheit for approximately 25 minutes; turn halfway through for even browning on both sides. For a guilty pleasure version, grill ’em! Did I mention you have to form into patties first? Be creative and think outside the box or circular patty shape. Try a rectangle or square. I made a rectangle to match the multi-grain bun from Ace Bakery.

tsp. = teaspoon or 5mL
TBSP. = tablespoon or 15mL

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